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Saturday, July 25, 2009

US Media's Hypocrisy Regarding Torture

Inés Míriam Alemán writes:

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. media — which is now pretending to be alarmed about torture — begged for torture of alleged terrorists to be legalized; in fact, the media gave its explicit approval to the torture subsequently committed.

In the November 5 edition of Newsweek magazine of that year, its editor, Jonathan Alter, wrote an article titled "Time to think about torture," in which he said, "We cannot legalize physical torture; it’s contrary to American values. But even as we continue to speak out against human-rights abuses around the world, we need to keep an open mind about certain measures…. And we'll have to think about transferring some suspects to our less squeamish allies…"

That same day, The New York Times published an article titled "Media stoke debate on torture," which provided a long list of articles in the U.S. media advocating torture, including the TV networks CNN and Fox, newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, and others.

The horror now being expressed by the U.S. media and government officials regarding revelations about abuses perpetrated by U.S. forces in Iraq contrasts with the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a massacre that still moves the world, the brutalities practiced by U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the development of new methods of torture.

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